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Language Technology News for 2011

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PolarLake wins Financial-i "Leaders in Innovation" award for Securities Reference Data
PolarLake announced they have been awarded Financial-i’s “Leaders in Innovation” award for Securities Reference Data. Financial-i’s Leaders in Innovation Awards identify global transaction banks and financial hardware and software providers that in the last 12 months have excelled, in terms of innovation in business solutions. Award winners were selected based on research conducted by Financial-i's team of journalists as well as feedback received from their awards advisory panel, which includes industry analysts, consultants and practitioners.
TAUS announced launch of TAUS Tracker - a free online directory of translation and language technology tools
TAUS Tracker is a free online directory of translation and language technology tools. The Tracker provides granular up-to-date information on over one hundred tools across twelve categories. “It is a great pleasure to launch this TAUS members’ inspired service. I look forward to continuously expanding the range and depth of information provided. By simply providing a decent set of well-documented directories we are helping to bridge the gap between leading-edge research and industry. Next up are a whole range of monolingual tools, which are increasingly becoming significant for optimizing translation automation solutions,” says Maxim Khalilov
$2.4 million Funding for SwiftKey with Android focused Language Technology
TouchType Ltd., which makes a clever keyboard app for Android phones, is on the verge of expansion. The London-based company raised a $2.4 million round of funding led by Octopus Investments. TouchType’s app, SwiftKey X, replaces the default on-screen keyboard with a customized one that has better predictive capabilities about what you’re going to type next. The underlying technology, which the company calls Fluency, is based on linguistic analysis of millions of web pages to provide more accurate and longer-range predictions than most software keyboards, and it’s this technology that the company is staking its future growth on.
Qordoba Launches Innovative, Affordable Arabic Translation Platform
For international platforms looking to break into the Middle East, local companies looking to go global, or even bilingual platforms like Wamda, translation is a constant need. But, let’s face it- it can be expensive, slow, and difficult to source. Dubai-based Qordoba, who launched today, are changing the game. With 400 translators and editors in 30 countries and 15 time zones, they’re making translation affordable, undercutting traditional agencies by 30-50%.
Free Stanford Classes include eight new courses such as Natural Language Processing and Machine learning.
Beginning in January 2012, IT professionals and others have the opportunity to take free classes online from Stanford University. The free Stanford classes include eight new courses, such as Introduction to Computer Science, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning. According to a ZDNet article by Joe McKendrick, the new classes are being offered because the university's previous free online classes were very popular--one attracted 35,000 students.
SDL wins Alterian Takeover battle
SDL has won its bid to acquire Alterian after the board of the troubled marketing technology provider unanimously recommended the approval of the translation software group’s sweetened offer. Alterian, which develops software for brand monitoring on social networks, on agreed to the all-cash 110p-a-share offer from SDL that valued Alterian’s equity at £68.4m. “The whole deal had a whiff of inevitability about it all along,” George O’Connor, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said. “The architect of this was Alterian and its mistakes of the past couple of years.” The two companies have web content management businesses that are complementary, and the purchase will expand SDL’s customer base.
EU students at risk if teachers and officials do not end apathy to technology in the classroom
Transforming learning through technology – new tools for teachers, new opportunities for students
The Internet: A lifeboat for endangered languages?
Although the English language continues to dominate the Internet, the rise of global economic powerhouses like China and Russia has seen a surge in what used to be considered second-tier languages, a Brussels conference heard last week. Meanwhile, the UN predicts that half of the world's 6,000 languages will become extinct by the end of the century. With the rise of the Internet, the 21st century could witness a renewal in linguistic diversity, said Daniel Prado, a renowned linguist of Franco-Argentine origin. "Some languages can resuscitate, or even be reborn," said Prado, who was previously a senior official at the Unión Latina, an intergovernmental organisation.
RightNow Extends Customer Experience Suite with Intent Guide for Facebook and Mobile
"As more consumers interact with brands on Facebook and mobile devices, companies need a way to ensure they are delivering great customer experiences to these burgeoning channels. With RightNow Intent Guide for Facebook and Mobile, RightNow extends today's best-in-class online natural language search capabilities to enable organizations to better understand what customers want and make sure they get the most relevant information possible via Facebook or on their mobile device." David Vap, chief solutions officer, RightNow
Siri: Why Apple will build, buy or partner on a search engine
Siri is emerging as Apple’s game-changer that could put serious pressure on Google. But, first Apple needs to figure out web search integration. Now that Apple has opened the door to a natural language VUI and demonstrated new possibilities, the game really begins. Google and Microsoft will undoubtedly take cues from Siri and bring similar functionality to Android and Windows Phone, since both companies already have a lot of engineers working on voice technology. That means Apple is going to have to rapidly improve and innovate Siri if it wants to be a leader in VUI. Siri has two areas that need the most work: 1.) it needs to keep improving voice recognition, and 2.) it needs more data sources to feed Siri and integrate into its equation.
Horizon 2020: Commission proposes €80 billion investment in research and innovation, to boost growth and jobs
The European Commission has today presented a package of measures to boost research, innovation and competitiveness in Europe. Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has announced Horizon 2020, an €80 billion programme for investment in research and innovation. Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has put forward a Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which will receive €2.8 billion of funding under Horizon 2020. In parallel, Vice-President Antonio Tajani has announced a complementary new programme to boost competitiveness and innovation in SMEs, with an additional budget of €2.5 billion. The funding programmes run from 2014 to 2020. Presenting Horizon 2020, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "We need a new vision for European research and innovation in a dramatically changed economic environment. Horizon 2020 provides direct stimulus to the economy and secures our science and technology base and industrial competitiveness for the future, promising a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive society."
Frost & Sullivan Lauds Smartlogic for Its Unique Content Intelligence Platform, Semaphore
Based on its recent analysis of the enterprise search and semantic Web markets, Frost & Sullivan recognises Smartlogic with the 2011 European Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for Semaphore. This content intelligence platform effectively harnesses the potential of existing information management and enterprise search applications, resulting in better performance. "Semaphore successfully meets the content search, management and intelligence requirements of enterprises," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Charanya Balasubramanian. "This technological innovation endows existing enterprise systems with the capability to find, organize, process, monetize, control and govern unstructured content in an efficient manner."
Open Data Institute to help drive innovation and Growth
A world-leading Open Data Institute is to be established in East London, helping to drive innovation and exploit the growth opportunities for the UK created by the government’s Open Data policy. The government is to commit up to £10 million over five years to support the Open Data Institute (ODI), which will be co-directed by Professor Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt. The ODI will be developed by the Technology Strategy Board and the implementation plan for the Institute will be published by the Technology Strategy Board by April 2012.
IDC named CSOFT one of the top innovative companies of 2011
CSOFT International Ltd., a leading provider of multilingual localization, testing, and software development solutions for the global market, announced its inclusion as one of eight “Innovative Application Software Companies Under $100M to Watch” by market research and analysis firm International Data Corporation (IDC). The annual competition (IDC #230938) distinguishes CSOFT and TermWiki, the cloud-based technology that facilitates collaborative creation, translation and management of multilingual terminology, for contributing innovative solutions to a new emerging model of enterprise that includes web, mobile and social elements.
Strategic partnership euroCRIS and VIVO towards joint ontology development in the Research domain

euroCRIS, a not-for-profit scientific association registered in the Netherlands, and the leaders of the project team of VIVO, an open source Semantic Web software application originally developed at Cornell University, have entered into a strategic partnership.